I was a case worker in villages in Alaska and needed a break from the hectic nature of the job. I took an "easy" job on a fishing boat as a deck hand. As a woman and a green horn this was a enormous challenge for me, but it meant months out to sea for hard work and solace.
Unexpectedly while crossing the gulf of Alaska into the Bering Sea our boat headed into a storm and capsized very rapidly. We lost the life raft and each other. I spent almost 4 hours in freezing waters fighting hypothermia and treacherous debris in a suit that was only suppose to last for around 2 hours - where as hypothermia takes over that time of year.
With no knowledge of a May Day call, no life raft, no land or rescue in site and a storm on its way I felt very alone. I reflected much on life and loved ones.
Thru a series of miracles I was rescued and was one of 3 survivors. My father Jim is technically my step dad - but in the chaos and drama of media and trauma I wanted to see no one else - just my dad Jim - whom God picked by choice to be my father...the man whom represents my rock and my stability. I'm so thankful he chose me to be his daughter.
Nicole Esau - Northern Belle Rescue Survivor